Food Studies

Dickinson College Food Studies Certificate Program

Month: August 2016

Semester Kick-Off

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To celebrate the beginning of another semester and to kick off the Food Studies Program’s first year, the Clarke Forum will be bringing together some of the biggest names in food—policy, business, culture, and otherwise.

Beginning September 8th, the Dickinson Community will welcome the academic, author, and activist Raj Patel to share his commentary on the state of our global food system. Patel applies a broad lens to the issues of food availability, malnutrition, and what the world is–or is failing to do–to guarantee a brighter food future. What is to blame for the striking inequalities in food access across the world? Why are so many struggling to consume enough while too much consumption plagues others? These questions are among many that Raj Patel explores in his several publications and will address at his public lecture.

The scope of our food discussion will then narrow as we explore food as a component of regional culture with Chef Hugh Acheson.   Drawing on his experiences with food growing up in Canada and later as a celebrity chef in Athens, Georgia, Chef Acheson will provide insight into the major issues facing the American food system. From racial inequality to political hypocrisy, Chef Acheson will discuss modern food culture and suggest potential solutions to the problems it faces.

The Food Studies Certificate faculty in conjunction with the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues invites you to participate in the events surrounding the visits of these two food intellectuals. Please review the calendar found on this site as well as the official Clarke Forum website for opportunities to join the conversation.



As a multidisciplinary endeavor, Food Studies draws on a wide range of methods and ways of knowing. Within the academy, Food Studies courses arise from many disciplines ranging across the curriculum from the arts to the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences.  This certificate offers robust opportunities for “hands-on” experiential learning with community partners and the Dickinson Farm. Given the wide-ranging problems and possibilities that Food Studies offers, students will find emphasis placed on critical thinking skills in all their courses. Because these courses will range across the curriculum, they will be able to present food questions and issues as multi-faceted and complex.

Program Overview

Certification and Courses

Contributing Faculty

Certification and Courses

Food Studies Certificate Curriculum and Courses

Program Overview

Food Studies is the critical examination of food – the evolution of its procurement, production, consumption, and cultural meanings within the contexts of the natural and social sciences and humanities. It is a multidisciplinary field of study that involves and attracts philosophers, historians, scientists, literary and language scholars, artists, sociologists, art historians, anthropologists, nutritionists, psychologists, agriculturalists, economists, artists, film producers and critics, policy-makers, and consumers. Complex questions frame food studies: Where does food come from? Why do people eat what they eat? Are current food systems sustainable? What factors will shape the future of food systems, foodways, and food culture?

The Dickinson approach to Food Studies stands to contribute substantially to the development of engaged citizens who are well-equipped to participate thoughtfully and productively in the full range of endeavors that any liberal arts graduate might consider – in business, academia, non-profit work, policy-making, law, and medicine.

The Food Studies certificate exemplifies a useful education, one that affects every member of the community on a daily basis by:

  • Combining courses across the curriculum
  • Providing hands-on experiential learning opportunities
  • Interacting with community partners and
  • Integrating the Dickinson College Farm into student learning.

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